On the second day of driving, we had to choose: drive another 6 hours and arrive in the middle of the night, or take it easy? We took it easy, and were darn glad we did. The hotel was nice, with a bar just a 3 minute walk away. The bar was pretty cool, with a huge fish tank behind it, and UFC on the TV. But we barely got to watch it, since the fellow sitting next to us had plenty of interesting things to tell and suggest. The first thing was to drink Ziegenbock beer, a Texas Amber. Not a bock bier - it tasted more like a blonde. Perfect.
Except for what they put into the beer! Our new Texan friend Ben told us the secret behind it's great taste: they put beetle juice into the beer! It seemed a tad suspicious that he mentioned this only after I had told him that I am a vegetarian. But he said it with a very straight face, so it must be true. Now, you can even read about it on the internet, so it absolutely positively must be true.
Ben gave us a couple more good tips. The first one was to try the nachos. I must have eaten nachos hundreds of times before, but this was the first time we could finish the whole plate without getting our fingers dirty (using forks and knives with nachos is really not an option). They had arranged the nachos in a circle on the outside of the plate, and covered them with just the right amount of beens, cheese, and so on. What an idea!
His next suggestion was that we absolutely had to stop at a Buc-ees. Ever heard that everything is bigger in Texas? It's true:
Like most other gas stations, there was a convenience store attached to this one - here's a look at one half of it:
look yourself: the bathrooms at Buc-ees are nicer that the bathrooms in 99 percent of all hotels. At least!
We spent close to an hour in the store, checking out all the cool stuff they had. Here are a few examples:
|Texans like cows. A lot. They usually eat them, but sometimes, they paint them.|
|There's a gun hanging off the "We Don't Dial 911" sign.|
We've been on North Padre Island for 2 days now, and love it. Temperatures are around 65-70 F (17-21 C), with plenty of sun. We even got some windsurfing in - nice to be in a short-sleeved wetsuit again! In case you're wondering why things are so great here, the Buc-ees store had a sign that explains it: